Over the past decade...
I have spent my years working at my local recreation center, and have cultivated many physical aspect skills. This is what eventually lead me to create the Four Pillars Philsophy. A Self-Development tool that allows you to extend your progress towards your own development. For this we can focus more on the Body Pillar, as exercise generally pertains to the physical realm.
Disclaimer: Exercise is a multi-purpose fundamental, and has great impact on all areas of your life.
When approaching the gym many people get upset about having to go in and workout. They lose the focus of why they are there, and the purpose of their overarching goal. It is a natural reaction, but one that can be quelled with practice. Over time however it can lead people down a spiral of being a sloth. On the opposite end of that there is the people who are down to business ready to go.
What causes that? Well it has to come down to the level of interaction they have with creating their systems. If they just let things happen, instead of intentionally planning for it, they will lose sight of their WHY. When you account for every possibility, such as injury, or stagnancy there is a level of readiness.
I believe that this in essence is the polymath mentality, being ready for anything. This can also induce the urge to try out all sorts of kinds of exercises, and that constant challenge of stimuli allows for progress. That is what exercise is about, that constant challenge.
Note: To me exercise is about expanding upon the stimuli of the body, and no longer pursuing just one path. Polymath Exercise is what crossfit was meant to be, an interdisciplinary cross-section of exercise groups into a holistic system.
The Three Variables of Exercise
When challenging yourself there are certain actions you must take to make sure you don't hurt yourself. Of course there are situations you cannot foresee, but there are situations that you can prepare for. Being ready means knowing what you're doing in the present.
There are three variables, only three, to account for 95% of the time in the gym. More than that then it is special to you such as an injury. I speak more about them in some blog posts, but in essence:
Speed, the rate you choose to exert your action, fast/slow, sprinter/marathoner, etc.
Volume, the quantity of repetitions or amount of time you spend doing the exercise/movement.
Intensity, the level of challenge you are facing, i.e. increase of weight, or distance, or in relation to your energy level.
Take heed that only one of these should be pushed at one point in time.
As a swim instructor for a better half of a decade I have a lot of knowledge to share with the world. I've even said that I could Michael Phelps a thing or two. This boastfulness doesn't come without merit, as I've spent this time studying the physics behind the movements, and the philosophy behind it. Combine those together, science/ideology, then you get the Polymath Exercise of swimming. I wanted this Pillar content idea to take form in the content I create. This is what started the book and course!
The Philosophy and HydroDynamics of Swimming
My strongest belief in life is that balance is the key to success. When take the WHY behind your actions, and understand the philosophy; then take the HOW of the science of movement ( Kinesiology ), and the hydrodynamics of water you get the physics. Finally between the two you get the WHAT you need to do.
I wanted to condense my knowledge into an easy to contain module of learning. This book is both dense of knowledge, but also fluid like water. I try to break things down into digestible chunks like I would when teaching.
Although one person compared me to a stock reel of information.
Even though it is a physical movement, most of my time teaching was spent telling them the philosophy and knowledge.
Taking what the book tells you, I hope to let the course SHOW you. Perhaps I'll get an underwater VR camera, so that you can see better the way to go.
It really comes down to consistent practice, so that the muscle memory or neuromuscular connection can flourish. There is only so much you can read or watch, before you have to DO.
What this means for you!
I took a really broad overview of Polymath Exercise and Swimming in this documentation today. I hope that by doing so it may instill confidence in you about perhaps getting the course/book, or just simply the confidence to go to the gym. Pursue that Self-Development!